WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- She is one of the most amazing athletes ever seen and she lives here in the D.C. Metro area. At 44 years old, she does things women half her age can't do and that's not the most extraordinary thing about Suzanne Hartwig.
No one else has ever done what she's done, lifted as much as she's lifted or lifted as much as she's lifted for as long. She's the Michael Jordan of her weight class in the United States and she's the single most dominant American female power lifter in the history of the sport.
We watched Hartwig slip on her armor. The crew stacked the weights -- 200, 250, 286 pounds. She lifts 342 pounds, and she's only 4'11."
"Four-ten if I haven't seen the chiropractor," said Hartwig.
Hartwig is a 20- time national champion. If you watch her, it doesn't take long to come to an obvious conclusion: She was built for this. Last year's world championships she squatted, benched and dead lifted a combined 970 pounds.
Hartwig is also serious about honoring her mother who lost a cancer battle in 2012. That world record occurred weeks after laying her mother to rest.
"Everything felt a little bit lighter. It really did and I tell everybody I think that God and my mom were looking down and just helping me a little bit extra that day," shared Hartwig.
Hartwig encourages women try out weight lifting. She says the belief that it makes you look less feminine is not so.